Eleanor Blair (lnr) wrote,
Eleanor Blair

Complaint about the number 18 bus

Sometimes cycling to work is Not Fun.

To: cambridge.enquiries@stagecoachbus.com

Good morning,

As I was cycling to work this morning I was overtaken by the number 18 bus in a manner which was frightening and frankly dangerous.

I was cycling along Lensfield Road from the Catholic Church junction towards Trumpington Street, and as I passed the Chemistry Department I became aware of the bus behind me. The bus very closely sat behind me for 50 to 100 metres as I repeatedly checked over my shoulder for safety. Ideally I wanted to be able to signal, in order to turn right at the roundabout, but there was no space to do so safely. In the end I very carefully pulled into the kerb and stopped, and the bus passed me.

I'm afraid I was unable to get more details of the bus, but it was a double-decker and turned left at the roundabout with Trumpington Street.

Please could you:

* identify the driver concerned
* ensure that they are properly aware of the need to give cyclists plenty of room, and to wait further back if there is not room to overtake
* determine whether this is a general lack in driver awareness
* if necessary arrange for more training for this driver or all drivers
* let me know what you have done

I was very shaken by the manoeuvre, and as I am a confident cyclist I dread to think how much it could have scared someone with less experience.

Yours faithfully,

Eleanor Blair

Edit: see comments for their response
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[Enquiries have at least responded within a minute to say they've passed it to their Complaints Officer - whose address I couldn't find online]
I think bus drivers sometimes don't realise how intimidating they can be :(
Their reply:

Dear Eleanor,

Thank you for your e-mail below.

Firstly, I must apologise that you have encountered an issue with a driver of an 18 service earlier today.

All of our drivers are expected to drive in a safe, professional manner giving due respect to all other road users at all times, especially vulnerable ones such as cyclists.

The standards of our employees driving is a matter we take extremely seriously and is one we are keen to constantly monitor and improve on where necessary. Any reports of dangerous or inconsiderate driving such as you have mentioned are viewed as serious incidents.

Please can you confirm the time of this incident. Once I have the relevant information please rest assure I will complete a full investigation into this incident and then if necessary follow this up with our internal procedures, which we have in place here at Stagecoach Cambridge. This may include further internal training and/or lead to disciplinary action if required.

Employment law in this country states that matters relating to employer/employee relationships are confidential. This confidentiality extends to disciplinary matters following any misconduct or poor performance; therefore, I am sure you will fully understand that I am unable to discuss this matter with your good self.

I sincerely apologise that you have had to raise such matters but would like to thank you for taking the time in doing so as it is only with such feedback can the appropriate action be taken.
Yours Sincerely

Tracey Holgate
Head of Customer Services
Stagecoach Cambridge

I've responded thanking them for taking the incident seriously, and apologetically telling them the time it happened and added:

I would appreciate any further feedback you are able to give me on the outcome of your investigation, while preserving the confidentiality of the employer/employee relationship. In particular if the vehicle has CCTV footage I would very much like to see it.


February 6 2017, 18:12:38 UTC 1 year ago

You are, of course, legally entitled to see any CCTV images of you, under the freedom of Information law. In case they try to rob you off with some further excuse about privacy.

Unfortunately it turns out the bus in question doesn't have any CCTV :/